Boys Can Beat Girls | Teen Ink

Boys Can Beat Girls

October 29, 2011
By natty5 BRONZE, West Dundee, Illinois
natty5 BRONZE, West Dundee, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 66 comments

The sun beat down on the tanned backs of my brothers and me in the fierce Alabama heat. We can’t afford air conditioning and the house is so stuffy that before long we can hardly breath, We needed some actual air—Jimmy, James and I—so we left Ma fanning herself by the dishes and went off to play by the creek. Jimmy is nearly fifteen and James thirteen while I lag behind at twelve.

We were over by the creek, lazily tipping our toes in the cool water with a few boys from the farms next to us and little Annemarie Winkle. Annemarie was seven with strawberry blond hair and twinkly blue eyes. She had the skinniest legs I have ever seen. She was alright—a cute, little thing, but she was deathly afraid of the boys and didn’t talk much around them.

“Let’s have us a race,” Jimmy suggested suddenly.

“Oh yeah? How far?” James piped up, already rising to his feet.

“Reckon we could go to the woods and back.”

“The woods?” I asked, standing up to stretch, “well that’s at least a mile! Little Annemarie can’t do that!” My brothers sighed and one of the other boys with big, muscular arms snickered, “That’s true, wittle Annemarie can’t do much of anything. But then again, neither can you, dummy.”

“Neither can I what,” I demanded.

“You can’t even trot from here back to your house without slowing us up!” The boys roared in laughter now.

“I can, too!” I shouted, clenching my fists.

“You’re a girl.”


“And you just can’t keep up” the boy said more sternly, “Girls can’t beat boys.” Humiliated and hurt, I looked at my brother James for help, whom I had always liked best out of my family.

“Stay here with Annemarie,” he said pleadingly, “it’s not that you can’t do it—I know you can—it’s just boys are faster. I don’t want my little sister to feel all left out because we’re too far in front! That’s all it is, we aren’t trying to be mean or anything.” And with that they had me say “ready, set, go” and cheer for them as they took off, which was the proper thing for a girl to do.

“I think you can beat those boys,” Annemarie whispered once the boys were but little specks racing through the fields. I nodded thoughtfully. Maybe if I start preparing—getting up before breakfast every morning and running real hard to the woods and back— I’ll get really fast. And once I get really fast, I can challenge those good-for-nothing pea-brained bullies to a real race. Then they can get the dust in their mouths that they deserve.

Everyday forward I ran. Sometimes my brother James would run with me so I could have someone to chase. But mostly, it was the rising sun and me racing each other. I would get up when it was nearly dawn and the air was crisp and the sky still dark. I’d run to the woods (even farther sometimes), and when the first rays of sun hit the earth, I raced back toward home as fast as my legs could carry. When I reached my back porch, panting and clutching my sides, I looked up at the sun to see how high it was in the sky compared to when it was just peaking over the landscape.

For the first week or so my legs burned and ached terribly, but soon I got used to it, and it wasn’t all that bad anymore.

After running everyday for about two months, I asked James to race me and not hold back. The race would be to the woods and back—a run all too familiar to my legs. Pa and Jimmy and Ma even came outside to watch. When Jimmy said, “Ready, set, go!” I launched myself across the earth toward the trees way up ahead. When the woods neared, I was going too fast and couldn’t slow down much and overran the turnaround point. James, who had been right on my heels, pulled ahead. I sprinted next to him. When I heard Jimmy and Ma and Pa cheering, I sprinted with all my might. James sprinted right with me. Approaching the finish line, marked by to big stones at either end, it looked as if James and I would tie, but suddenly I pulled ahead and beat him by at least ten steps.

James collapsed to the ground as I walked around with my hands on top of my head to open my lungs to more air. Jimmy, Ma and Pa congratulated me and praised me while James, when he could catch his breath, told me I could beat any boy in the country with that sprint of mine.

It was set. I stopped by the creek where a bunch of the boys were throwing pebbles at ducks and challenged anyone who would dare to race me. I’d told James and Jimmy to not say a thing about my training. Naturally the gang of boys all whooped and howled with laughter.

“Save yourself some embarrassment—go play with your dolls or knit a sock and don’t bother us,” said the boy with big, muscular arms who also looked a bit like a gorilla. I told them that I was serious and if they didn’t race me that meant it counted as a forfeit and I would win.

Soon six of the fastest boys and I were lined up in between the two stones that served as the start and finish line. Annemarie stood on the sidelines and we waited for her signal.
I inhaled and exhaled deeply.
I closed my eyes.

I took off and immediately got behind gorilla boy who was so convinced that last was my place in society. But what he didn’t know was that I wasn’t last gliding through these golden fields with my heart yearning for acceptance. I wasn’t last. No, here—here I was fast.

Careful not to make the same mistake, I slowed up a bit when the trees became close. That’s when I ran smack into gorilla boy. He’d turned around early! He was cheating! He seemed a bit surprised to see me so close, but smirked at me when he saw me on the ground. I shot up and touched the tree before bounding after my competitor. I caught up to a boy who had passed me in the process of my falling. When I went around him his eyes widened and he cursed under his breath.

Finally the finish was in view and I knew that this was a now-or-never situation. I could lose to gorilla boy, or I could win to him. My legs were already burning, but I told them just to wait a little longer, because they were not going to slow down. I pumped my arms and lengthened my stride. I was running so fast my eyes were watering.

I was neck and neck with gorilla boy. He looked at me. I only glanced at him for a second, but his eyes were wide, not unlike the boy I had passed earlier, and his face was that of a frightened, little boy.

I surged ahead and crossed the finish line two steps before he did.

Everyone cheered, some boys stood dumbly with their mouths wide open to collect the dust I had probably kicked up. Jimmy and James hugged me. “That’s our sister!” they boasted to bystanders who might not have known.

After my legs allowed me to walk again, I went and found gorilla boy, sulking by the creek. Only Annemarie was near and she pranced up to me, her strawberry blond hair swinging rhythmically. She told me she thought she wasn’t so scared of the boys anymore after seeing them get walloped by me in the race. I smiled and patted her little head.

I took a deep breath and held out my hand for gorilla boy to shake. He glared at it and turned away.

“I won,” I stated. I would be smiling over those two words for a while—at least until the next challenge.

“B-but girls can’t beat boys!”

Annemarie skipped right up to him. “I think you mean girls can beat boys.” She beamed with a smile as dazzling as the sun.

Similar Articles


This article has 17 comments.

on May. 26 2012 at 10:05 am
billgamesh11 BRONZE, Grafton, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 278 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's always darkest before the dawn." ~Florence and the Machine

This was so well-written! Even though she was running fast, the story was set at a nice pace so that the reader is able to keep up ;) The line that I thought was really good was "Sometimes my brother James would run with me so I could have someone to chase. But mostly is was the rising sun and me racing each other"!!! Love that! The ending was great, especially when the girl won! Girl power! :)

Great Job and please Keep Writing!!! :):):);)

natty5 BRONZE said...
on Nov. 19 2011 at 2:48 pm
natty5 BRONZE, West Dundee, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 66 comments
Well thank you for the feedback (:  Maybe I'll consider revising it!

Mtrench7809 said...
on Nov. 18 2011 at 9:16 pm
Mtrench7809, Hensall, Other
0 articles 0 photos 19 comments
i agree, it was good but kind of predictable :/

on Nov. 15 2011 at 6:56 pm
ChristopherW BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"you can never get enough of what you don't read"

NIce, youe had me from begining to end!

on Nov. 14 2011 at 8:20 pm
MercyChristine GOLD, Oak Grove, Minnesota
10 articles 7 photos 57 comments

Favorite Quote:
oh shnykeis!

this is great... you commented on my 911 article and I realized that I had already read yours!  nice work


on Nov. 13 2011 at 11:38 am
ClaraRose SILVER, Glasgow, Other
7 articles 0 photos 108 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's not what we are born, but what we grow to be."

"you think that because I am Poor, Obscure, Plain and little, that I am Soulless and Heartless. I have just as much soul as you and full as much heart"

great :) 

on Nov. 12 2011 at 8:58 pm
Jappyalldayeveryday, Detroit, Michigan
0 articles 0 photos 163 comments

Favorite Quote:
They say that good things take time, but really great things happen in the blink of an eye

It's a cute story, though it's not too intense

on Nov. 11 2011 at 5:43 pm
pageturner PLATINUM, Brooklyn, New York
34 articles 0 photos 94 comments

Favorite Quote:
It's okay to daydream.. just as long as you get to do some of those daydreams.

this is so cool. really nice. btw, thanks for commenting on my story

LASwan SILVER said...
on Nov. 11 2011 at 2:41 pm
LASwan SILVER, Yukon, Oklahoma
5 articles 0 photos 55 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't worry about the world endng today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.
-Charles Schultz

Tons of fun to read and think about! Mind reading some of my works?

on Nov. 11 2011 at 8:42 am
bookthief PLATINUM, Concord, Massachusetts
20 articles 0 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser." -- John W. Gardener

"Mostly, it was the rising sun and me racing each other" -- what a wonderful image.

natty5 BRONZE said...
on Nov. 9 2011 at 8:56 pm
natty5 BRONZE, West Dundee, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 66 comments
No writing is ever worthless!

DKid0l BRONZE said...
on Nov. 9 2011 at 5:35 pm
DKid0l BRONZE, Windsor, Michigan
2 articles 3 photos 14 comments

This is amazing! I loved it! Compared to this, my piece is worthless.



Fia-fia BRONZE said...
on Nov. 8 2011 at 8:10 pm
Fia-fia BRONZE, Bethesda, Maryland
4 articles 1 photo 157 comments
This is a great story. I like how you paralled the characters determination to win with Annemarie's fear of talking to boys and telling off gorilla boy in the end. THank you :)

on Nov. 8 2011 at 5:59 pm
painter17rosie, Brentwood, New Hampshire
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
That was great! I loved how she was so determined to reach her goal! Keep writing good peices like this:)

on Nov. 7 2011 at 8:52 pm
this is really great! i love the sense of competition and how the narrator comes to triumph with her hard work and efforts

on Nov. 7 2011 at 6:40 pm
Athena19 SILVER, Central Point, Oregon
5 articles 1 photo 103 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Love people. Cook them tasty food.' -Penzey's Spices

fun! I loved the lighthearted feel, and sense of determination

ReenGH said...
on Nov. 7 2011 at 12:24 pm
Excellent, Nat!